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IES Contract

Title: Fantasy Sports and Mathematics Game: An Innovative Gaming Approach to Increase Middle School Math Skills
Center: NCER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: Laris, BA Awardee: dfusion, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (06/23/2023 – 02/23/2024) Award Amount: $250,000
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990023C0025

Purpose: While mathematics is fundamental to daily life, many students who struggle with basic math concepts early-on are less likely to meet grade-level expectations and to have opportunities for quality employment after leaving school.  Short- and long-term trends signal a need for new strategies to engage students in math learning. In this project, the research team will develop a prototype of a web-based intervention for middle school students to engage in real-world mathematics learning through a fantasy sports game.

Project Activities: The project team will develop a prototype that will include a web-based game for students to learn math by making and managing a fantasy sports team. Students will use problem-solving and computational skills to maintain the team budget, set a line-up, track statistics, and compete with classmates on a leaderboard. A dashboard will provide results to educators in real-time. At the end of Phase I, the team will carry out a pilot study in classrooms, including 20 educators and 200 high school students. Researchers will examine if the prototype functions as intended, if educators believe the game can be successfully delivered in the context of coursework, if students are engaged, and if learning improves from a pre-test to post-test of math content aligned to gameplay.

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